An uncontested divorce is the way most people divorce. Getting an uncontested divorce is simple, less costly and it offers you and your spouse a chance to end your marriage peacefully with dignity. Although uncontested divorce is generally favored, it is not always considered the right option for everyone. You are generally advised to consult your attorney before determining if getting an uncontested divorce will be right route to choose.
One Attorney: Who Gets Represented in the Divorce Case
In Georgia, if only one attorney is being used in an uncontested divorce, the attorney can ethically only represent one of the parties. The attorney can represent either the plaintiff, the person asking for the divorce, or the defendant who is receiving the request for divorce. In most instances, only one attorney is needed in an uncontested divorce cases. However, if you have any concerns about your divorce case and do not have your own attorney, you should seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney before signing any documents. In addition, if you are served divorce papers by a process server or sheriff’s deputy, despite what your spouse might tell you, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. This is because the divorce is not uncontested, but rather you have been served with a contested divorce.
Ultimately, in complex uncontested divorce cases, it is probably best for both parties to have their own attorney to help negotiate and draft the documents to be filed with the court. Complex divorce cases usually involve any one or combination of the following: significant assets, significant debts, child custody, child support, alimony, a home, real estate holdings, trusts.
Ins and Outs of Uncontested Divorce
Generally speaking, an uncontested divorce is one in which parties mutually agree on custody, child support, property, debts, and alimony. Once the spouses reach a mutual agreement in regards to these aspects described above, divorce paperwork can be filled out with ease, without the unnecessary court assistance. Generally, uncontested divorce may not always be the best option for everyone. However, often times, when no significant assets are involved, uncontested divorce is definitely something to consider.
Things to Consider
Before the divorce petition is filed, it is important to keep in mind that the lawyer cannot represent both spouses at the same time due to conflict of interests. Additionally, it is never in the best interest to represent yourself in a divorce proceeding as it can result in undesirable legal and non legal consequences. One of the most common mistakes made by those who choose to represent themselves is determining where to file for the divorce. Each state has its own requirements that it abides by. On the other hand, when representing oneself in a domestic relations matter, spouses are likely to make rash decisions in the “heat of the moment.” Emotions run high when dealing with domestic disputes. Therefore, it is often recommended to seek legal counsel during divorce proceedings.
During an uncontested divorce, once the terms are mutually agreed upon, then the attorney is free to proceed in a direction he/she sees will be in the best interest of the client. For an uncontested divorce, divorce petition is generally filed in the county where the couple resides prior to the divorce. Nonetheless, if the spouses reside in a different county, then the petition is to be filed in the county where non-filing spouse resides.
Advantages of Getting Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorce offers the chance to end marriage quietly with less hassle. Generally, uncontested divorce matters can be resolved without the help of an attorney. Divorcing parties will need to bargain with one another to come to an agreement. If this can be done without communication barriers, then no cost is involved. However, if the communication barriers exist, then a mediator may be needed to facilitate the agreement. The cost of mediator varies, but approximately may cost several $100/hour. The low cost is not, however the only advantage of an uncontested divorce.
Disadvantages of Getting Uncontested Divorce
While getting an uncontested divorce may seem advantageous, getting an uncontested divorce has its own flaws. Uncontested divorce should never be an option when there is a history of domestic violence, emotional abuse, or some other sort of disparity in the power of relationship where one spouse can easily take an advantage of the other spouse. When there is even a slight chance of bickering and fighting, then the uncontested divorce is not the right option for you. In cases such as this, where there is even a slight possibility of disagreements, contested divorce might be a more suitable route to consider. Similarly, if one or both of the spouses are vested in keeping certain property or taking a larger share of the marital assets, then intractable disagreement may not be easily resolved in an uncontested divorce proceeding.
If you think your marriage is not working anymore, and you are interested in getting an uncontested divorce, it is advised to consult an experienced divorce attorney. No one said going through a divorce will be easy, but with right professional help and guidance, it can be made less painful. If you need assistance with an uncontested divorce, call us at 770-609-1247 today to speak with one of our experienced and caring divorce attorneys. We are here to help you during your difficult times.